Computer Electronics

These tech giants are building a $500 million supercomputer

19 March 2019

Intel Corporation and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced plans to deliver the first supercomputer with a performance of one exaFLOP in the United States.

The $500 million system — named Aurora — being developed at DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago is slated for delivery by Intel and sub-contractor Cray Inc. in 2021.

(Read "How quantum computers work")

The exaFLOP performance is equal to a quintillion floating point computations per second. The computer will be built with the ability to handle both traditional high-performance computing (HPC) and artificial intelligence (AI). Potential research projects range from developing extreme-scale cosmological simulations to researching new approaches for drug response prediction, to discovering materials to create more efficient organic solar cells.

The Aurora supercomputer will be based on Intel technologies designed to combine AI and high-performance computing at extreme computing scale. Aurora will use Cray’s supercomputer system, named Shasta, which will comprise more than 200 cabinets and include Cray’s scalable interconnect and a software stack optimized for Intel architecture.

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